During my time back home visiting the Isle of Wight this spring I took the time to visit Alverstone Mead, a great location to view the beautiful red squirrels and local wildlife. At peak, there are 3500 red squirrels on the island based on the success or failure of the seed crop growth in Autumn. We took the correct food to feed the squirrels and allowed plenty of time to view them. The island is the perfect nature sanctuary and well worth your patience to spot them!
We were lucky to see two squirrels during our quiet stay at the hut, a younger one and a fully grown one. However you really do have to be patient. We had arrived at Alverstone around 11:00am so rather on the late side, but we had no other plans for the day so we had plenty of time to sit and wait for a furry fellow to come by.
There is a bird & squirrel watching hut called the The Bern Thearle Hide, which has recently been renewed and fixed up by volunteers. There were already a few people quietly whispering to themselves waiting around who had also not yet seen any.
Placing the nuts and dried fruit on the specially cut tree and along the edge of the pathway made it inviting for not just squirrels but the beautiful local birds such as blue tits, finches and robins. There is also a feeder already in place that is filled up by bird watchers and volunteers from the hut where the birds feed from.
Where To Spot Squirrels
I recommend sitting out at Alverstone Mead as a great location, however other locations recommended by Wight Squirrels to spot squirrels include:
- Behind the railway exhibit at Fort Victoria, Yarmouth
- Newport to Cowes cycle track
- Robin Hill
- The Garlic Farm, Newchurch
- In and around Shanklin Chine and village
What To Feed Squirrels
When we visited in Spring, we bought some delicious hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruit and some mixed seeds with coconut (also for the birds) from the local store Easy Weigh. These are all very healthy for the squirrels. Easy Weigh is also a perfect place to pick up some sweets for yourself too while you go squirrel spotting!
One thing you should absolutely avoid feeding squirrels are brazil nuts and fatballs.
If you are visiting the Isle of Wight during the late spring and early summer, this is perfect for feeding squirrels at these times due to food shortages so you will really help them out too.
For more information please visit Wight Squirrels website!
- Find a viewing spot and stand very still and quiet – they hide from movement and sound!
- Dusk and dawn times are best, avoiding the usual dog walking times
- Well worth your patience to see these magnificent wild animals
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Have you spotted any red squirrels before? Share with us in the comments!